Listen to 405 Radio
  • No Events

    We'll get something in the diary soon

Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

by , 25 November 2011

In my last review for The 405 I disagreed with the late John Peel’s assessment that American producer Boom Bip should be regarded a modern-day Captain Beefheart. And in my head I thought to myself that if any contemporary musician should be compared to Beefheart it should probably Mike Patton. Here is a vocal acrobat who is so much more than the voice behind one of the most creative and interesting popular rock groups in recent times. In fact you get the feeling that Patton regarded Faith No More as something of a side project to the more eclectic but lesser known Mr Bungle. He even wore a Bungle t-shirt in the music video for FNM’s 'Epic'.

Alongside collaborators notably including experimental producer John Zorn, Mike Patton has continued to explore the limits of his musical horizons. Even at the peak of his fame, Mike Patton’s creative heart yearned to break out. In 1996, Patton released an album recorded entirely in hotel rooms on the road with Faith No More. Every sound on Adult Themes For Voice was made using his own, rather impressive, set of vocal chords. It is at once amazing and horrifying. Rather like a Bangkok sex show, the album leaves most people incredulous at the abilities of the human body yet too disturbed to want a repeat performance.

Later, Patton released Pranzo Oltranzista, another avant garde mixture of sounds, textures and unique ideas – another record for the purists.

The full title of this release speaks for itself, Music From The Film and Inspired by the Book The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi). Patton had himself penned much of music for a recent film adaptation and the themes running through the story have underpinned Patton's approach to the composition of the work. The novel, by Italian author Paolo Giordano, tells the story of two individuals, Mattia and Alice, whose lives parallel each other in uncanny ways, like twin prime numbers: both lonely and unique but connected to each other.

This is in many ways one of Paton’s most simplistic releases, although it’s still rich with ideas. Individual instruments dominate one at a time, punching sharp forcible themes with the most basic percussion providing battering each point home. This is indeed an avant-garde release, but not as leftfield as Patton’s other solo records. It’s a disappointment that Patton doesn’t utilise his considerable vocal talents - these solo pieces lack the playful personality and humour that shone in with Faith No More. But with his solo albums, it’s clear that Faith No More and, later, Tomahawk, were mere hobbies.

Rating: 6/10

Purchase and listen

Don't Miss Out

Related Reviews

  • Standard Fare – Out of Sight, Out of Town

    Standard Fare – Out of Sight, Out of Town

    by Adam Parker

    Let me clarify that I’m not stating that Standard Fare are a shitty band and that the aforementioned profane term does not define their most recent record, Out of Sight, Out of Town. Far from it, in fact. [read more]

  • Frank Alpine - Frank Alpine

    Frank Alpine - Frank Alpine

    by Samuel Valdes Lopez

    The electro genre might be a little overplayed, but thankfully there are enough variations in Frank Alpine's music to make it stand a few inches taller than his congeners. [read more]

  • Joker - The Vision

    Joker - The Vision

    by James Murray

    Rewind back to 2008; the dubstep scene was primarily underground, and the then 19-year-old producer Joker was making his first real contributions to the scene. It was one year later that the modern classic ‘Purple City’ was released – and Joker made his mark as one of the centric figures in the evolution of UK bass music. [read more]

  • Death of Death of Discotheque - Count My Face

    Death of Death of Discotheque - Count My Face

    by Daniel Offen

    Yes, this band is called Death of Death of Discotheque. Their clumsy, unwieldy title (which I initially thought was a file naming mistake) is probably the worst thing about the group and should be disregarded. Musically DODOD produce the sort of dance music that both gets feet moving and mental cogs turning. A good reference point are Errors, DODOD never relent, hitting the listener with a wave of powerful synths, offbeat drums, tangy guitars and distorted vocals. [read more]

Comments

Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.